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May Swenson
Widely appreciated as a significant American poet, May Swenson has earned the praise of Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Howard, and Elizabeth Bishop, and is described by John Hollander as "one of our few unquestionably major poets." May Swenson has also been described as "perhaps the best poet to come out of Mormondom," (Karl Keller Dialogue 14.2 p. 136) and as an "accomplished imagist and devotee of the specific" (Mary Bradford, Dialogue 13.3 p. 140). At the same time, she represents a controversial figure in Mormon literature, since she is also known as an "expatriate" to the Mormon culture (Bruce Jorgensen, Dialogue 9.4 p. 51). However, see Susan Howe's article regarding the Mormon aspects of May Swenson's poetry. Swenson published eleven collections of verse that have received many honors. Her poetry has appeared in major journals such as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Parnassus, The Atlantic Monthly, etc.

Included in 75 Significant Mormon Poets

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Web Site The May Swenson Poetry Award
Sponsored by Utah State University Press
Birth Date 1913
Death Date 1989
Birth Place Logan, Utah
Education B.S., Utah State University
Honorary Doctor of Letters, Utah State University
Awards Recipient, Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America
Recipient, Bollingen Prize in Poetry
Recipient, Rockefeller, Ford, Guggenheim, and MacArthur fellowships

The Utah State University Press now sponsors an annual poetry award in the name of May Swenson.
Other Biographical Information See the tribute to May Swenson by Veneta Nielsen

Works by May Swenson
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The Scribner Anthology for Young People 1976 Anthology
May Swenson: A Poet's Life in Photos1996Biography / Memoir
Dear Elizabeth: Five Poems & Three Letters to Elizabeth Bishop2002Poetry Collection
May Out West: Poems of May Swenson1996Poetry Collection
Night Practice1995Poetry
Nature: Poems Old and New1994Poetry Collection
The Complete Poems to Solve1993Poetry Collection
The Love Poems of May Swenson 1991Poetry Collection
If I Had Children1990Poetry
Above Bear Lake1989Poetry
My Name Was Called1989Poetry
That the Soul May Wax Plump1989Poetry
American Sports Poems 1988Poetry Collection
In Other Words: New Poems1987Poetry Collection
Cat & the Weather1981Poetry
New & Selected Things Taking Place: Poems 1978Poetry Collection
Painting the Gate1976Poetry
Any Object1974Poetry
The Centaur1974Poetry
More Poems to Solve1971Poetry Collection
The Beam1969Poetry
Half Sun, Half Sleep: New Poems1967Poetry Collection
Poems to Solve1966Poetry Collection
To Mix With Time: New and Selected Poems 1963Poetry Collection

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